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    Germany's SPD Wants to Extend Ban on Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which is part of the ruling coalition, proposes to extend the embargo on arms supplies to Saudi Arabia, Rolf Muetzenich, deputy chairman of the SPD faction in the Bundestag, said on Monday.

    "We will work to extend the arms export ban to Saudi Arabia beyond March 9, since the reasons for imposing the moratorium have not changed," Muetzenich said in an op-ed article for the Vorwaerts newspaper.

    According to the lawmaker, the SPD sees the need for a joint European policy in the field of arms exports within the framework of a common European foreign policy.

    "However, this cannot be a copy of the lax export practice of the French, British or even Italians," he said.

    The SPD believes that in the future it is necessary to introduce European regulation of arms exports and to create a parliamentary body that will monitor its observance, Muetzenich said.

    Berlin announced the ban in October amid controversy surrounding the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said last week that the issue of the resumption of arms supplies to Saudi Arabia by Germany is related to the resolution of the conflict in Yemen. The embargo expires on March 9.

    READ MORE: Germany Maintains Saudi Arms Sales Ban, Declines to Heed UK Plea

    Earlier, Spiegel magazine reported that UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had sent a letter to his German counterpart Heiko Maas demanding to lift the ban on the export of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Hunt noted that UK military enterprises could not fulfil several agreements with Riyadh due to Berlin's decision. Germany's embargo also applies to the supply of German-made components for joint weapons projects with the United Kingdom, France and Spain.

    READ MORE: Bipartisan Legislation Would Ban US Military Sales to Saudi Arabia — Lawmaker

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    arms sales, ban, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Saudi Arabia, Germany
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